Sunday, May 11, 2008

Well here goes. I'm going to try my hand at Blogging. My daughter Jesse is my inspiration. She posts to her blog two or three times a week and even though she is a long way away in Michigan, I feel like I know more of what is going on in her life and mind the my other three kids living here at home. Hopefully this will serve as a journal and history of life's events and maybe I can even get it published in a book like Jesse did.

Jared's 23rd birthday present.

Since this will probably be Jared's last birthday at home for a long while. ( upcoming plans for a two year LDS mission and Air Force career after that) I also feel a little cheated in that I haven't been able to spend much time with Jared for the last few years.

So for this years birthday we took a trip together. We went to Bristish Columbia to go Helicopter Skiing at Whistler. It has always been a dream of mine and I knew that Jared would like it. I signed us up for two days of skiing. Hopefully we would get one in with the weather. If the weather did not allow for Helicopters we could always ski at one of the premier spots in the world.

British Columbia is beautiful. It reminds me much of Alaska, but with a much smaller investment in time to get there. Just a 90 minute flight to Seattle and then less than an hour flight to Vancouver. Next a three hour drive to Whistler. Whistler Village is a lot like Heavenly Village only much bigger. The elevation is around 2,000 feet and the mountain tops at the ski resort are around 7,000 feet. There are two mountains to ski, Whistler and Blackcomb. Either one is larger than Heavenly or Vail.

We lucked out and got to go Helli Skiing the first day. After equipment rentals ( Big Fat Boy Powder Skiis) briefing on finding a lost skier after an avalanche (very comforting) and helicopter safety we were ready to go. Thirteen of us piled into the chopper. I believe Jared and I were the only Americans and I was definitely the "old man" of the group. Ten skiers, the pilot, our guide, and a photographer. Several of our group were from Japan, a couple from Spain, some Canadians and Londoner. It is very tight quarters in the helicopter. There are seats that face each other and we have to interlace our legs to fit.

It was a little bit stormy with broken clouds so the chopper would get altitude ( about 7500 feet) and watch for an opening in the clouds for a mountain top. The chopper landed at about 7500 feet and we hopped out, the guide got our equipment and the helicopter took off to haul another group of skiers. We were on a peak, surrounded by glaciers and ice fields several thousand feet above the tree line at that latitude. The snow was not deep light powder. It was more like hard crusty snow. The pitch was very steep for me. I found the skiing a little difficult for me. I was trying to get used to the big fat powder skiis with no powder to ski in. In normal ski conditions, I must plant my poles very close to my skiis, because I kept skiing over my poles. It made me fall once. (luckily I don't think anyone saw me fall, especially the photographer) I got used to the new skiis and as we got lower the snow got better. Actually it was incredible. As we got lower the snow got icy and it was very hard work for me to keep an edge on the steep pitches. We crossed some avalanch fields and worked our way down to the about the 4500 foot elevation. Here the snow was soft and heavy. Our Chopper was waiting and we went and did it two more times. Jared went for a fourth. I was bushed.

1 comment:

Jesse said...

Great report. I'm glad you got to take this amazing trip with Jared. Totally impressive, Dad. You are a stud. I love your blog. I'll read it all the time!